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September 21, 2023

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Faculty Senate approves new master’s degree

The Faculty Senate approved a new master’s degree in applied geospatial science at its third meeting of the year.

Part of the School of Earth, Environment and Society, the program will focus on the use of geospatial tools for solving problems in the natural and social sciences, with an emphasis on energy, said Sheila Roberts, associate professor of geology.

A joint effort between the Departments of the Environment and Sustainability, Geography and also Geology, the goal is to meet a demand for professions in the state and nation, she said.

To go into effect, the legislation has to be approved by President Mary Ellen Mazey and then the Board of Trustees. The next Board of Trustees meeting is Dec. 6.

During his report, Rodney Rogers, provost and associate vice president of Academic Affairs, briefed the senate on specific changes in faculty and class sizes since last year.

The average number of students enrolled per course has gone up from 20.73 to 21.43 since this past fall. Full-time faculty has decreased from 75.63 to 74.28, while part-time has increased from 21.31 to 23.82.

“I think we’re all concerned in making sure our students have the highest academic experience possible,” Rogers said. “We’ve got to be as efficient as possible in delivering high quality education to our students.”

Sustainability Coordinator Nick Hennessy updated the senate on the sustainability project the University is involved in.

Specifically, he mentioned the initiatives undergone since University President Mary Ellen Mazey signed the President’s Climate Commitment in October 2012. The PCC is a pledge that the University will commit to carbon neutrality.

The University has three buildings that are LEED certified; The Stroh Center, the Wolfe Center for the Arts and Carillon Dining. The Oaks’ certification is pending.

“Sustainability is cutting edge and it changes every day,” Hennessy said.

The Faculty Senate has one final meeting this semester on Dec. 3.

Up next is a discussion on how the senate and the Faculty Association can organize themselves so the two entities can work together, said Sheri Wells-Jensen, senate chair and associate professor in the English Department.

“We continue to have questions on how the senate and the FA can interact. This is really a big change for us at BGSU. We want to do it right,” she said.

The plan is to invite guest speakers from other universities where the Union and faculty senate ‘live happily together,’” Wells-Jensen said.

“I’m looking forward very much to that discussion,” she said.

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